The Sounds of Brazil’s 1500th Show

The Sounds of Brazil celebrates it’s 1,500th weekly radio show beginning February 28th. Here’s what to expect.

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The Sounds of Brazil’s 1500th show is called ‘Always Looking Forwardand it chronicles 29 years of musical highlights from our weekly radio program.

By Scott Adams

May I steal a minute of your time to extend a special invitation? The Sounds of Brazil is turning 1,500, dating back to its radio debut on April 5, 1992.

Let me put that number in perspective:

Friends ran for 10 seasons and consisted of 236 episodes. The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom in United States television history. Total weekly episodes? 695. Google began searching in January 1996. Amazon opened its doors in July of 1995 and Facebook started up in 2004.

Even before The Sounds of Brazil’s first show, I was already looking forward. In fact, I spent most of late summer, the fall and winter of 1991 filling up a pair of spiral-bound notebooks with ideas, thoughts and goals.

I had made my first trip to Rio de Janeiro in 1987 and returned home with a suitcase of record albums and an unexpected passion for Brazil and its music.

So, I began making mix tapes for friends and it wasn’t long before I was getting requests from people I didn’t even know.

Chicago’s WNUA had just signed on as one of the very first New Age/Smooth Jazz radio stations and their programming complimented what I was doing with my mix tapes.  

I thought it might work as a radio show. And now, here we are at 1500.

Always Looking Forward is a two-hour radio retrospective, setting the table for The Sounds of Brazil’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2022.

I’ll tell you how you can listen, below.

Musical highlights

Program #1500 literally looks back at the musical results of looking forward. Each spot on the playlist features a carefully chosen song to mark a special occasion or a milestone moment; in roughly 100 week intervals.

Show #615 introduced us to Elis Regina’s biography (in English, rescued from world wide web oblivion) with all 385 pages published and archived at Connect Brazil.

Show #1363 celebrated Bossa Nova’s 60th anniversary by telling the musical story of Bossa Nova’s first song, ‘Chega de Saudade’.

The 1000th show gave away trips for two to Rio for The Sounds of Brazil’s ‘Most Popular Song’ contest.

And I have very fond memories of show #17, Saturday, August 1st, 1992.

It was my second week at WNUA, and two nights later I was invited by the station to co-host a meet and greet with Sergio Mendes at Chicago’s Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! Mendes was in town to promote his new Brasileiro album and he graciously introduced me to each autograph-seeking fan. Were you there that night? View the pictures.

Sergio and I reunited to celebrate The Sounds of Brazil’s 10th and 25th anniversaries, too.

How to listen

This program will be broadcast and streamed worldwide beginning Sunday, February 28th through Saturday March 6th, and available on demand from February 28th through March 14th.

Listen on The Sounds of Brazil’s Playlist Page

Listen in Connect Brazil’s Listening Lounge

An invitation

It’s natural at times like this to reflect, and with The Sounds of Brazil it’s a lot like the comfort of old friendships: We’ve been through a lot together, the highs and the lows of everyday life and many historic moments, too.

2021 reminded us once again of the healing, comforting power of music. There’s no doubt my life would be very different without Brazilian music in it.

I’ve made countless new friendships along the way with musicians and fans – and in a few I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening instances, those “seven degrees of separation” that we always wonder about disappeared with a simple phone call or a handshake.

None of this is what I imagined the first time I stood in front of the microphone in WNUA’s Michigan Avenue broadcast studio.

I remember thinking how exciting it would be to share Gal Costa’s beautiful voice with radio listeners who had never heard of her before. What a thrill!

And it still is for me, even though Brazilian music (like everything else) is everywhere these days.

That’s why I’d prefer to look forward, to anticipate ‘what’s next’ and to invite you along for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1500th show.

Happy Listening!

The Sounds of Brazil’s 1500th show

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